tv The Cycle MSNBC October 31, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT
northern most part of the island and jubilant and hopeful to see the esident and the governor. they were cheering when air force one flew over and when the fleet of blackhawk helicopters also did a flyover but little did the audience know that they were actually heading north. they were touring most of the barrier islands north of atlantic city and storm ravaged and by comparison now that we have seen that footage, we can say that they were much worse off. when the crowd realized that the president himself not making an appearance, they were very visibly disappointed yet getting details about how the trip went and it seems like it was a successful one from an informational point of view of what happened to the coast here in new jersey. >> kayla, it's crystal. we understand some of the residents got the power back this morning and the city has a long way to go. >> reporter: you know, it does. i think the biggest problem, you guys, is water.
because the municipal utilities authority said that the water not potable. unfit to drink and wash food with and even wash cuts with so badly contaminated. you have to think that the mayor will not lift the mandatory evacuation ban before they know that they have potable water, safe for hotel guests and tourists and attendees of the casino and power. surely that's the biggest priority for heating as water has come in and surely very cold and the problem is traffic lights are still out here and so you can't invite an influx of people in to the city with kay why is on the streets as far as orderly driving goes. i think it's probably still toward the end of the week for the casinos to open and the evacuation ban is lifted. that's what we're hopeful of right now. >> all right. thanks so much. nbc's mike vicuero is
outside the white house. >> reporter: i think what you have seen is the white house keep politics out of that. they don't have to be political whatsoever. david axelrod put it this way on the phone. there's a race, a presidential race, that continues tended to freeze prior or just about the time that sandy made landfall and caused this damage on the jersey shore. damage which as you have just heard the president completed touring. started the morning at fema, second trip this week. sunday over there, as well. he went over there to congratulate, a pat on the back he put it to people that responded at the federal level and much of this is coordinated at the state level with the federal government pitching in, helping out as they can. the president arrived in
atlantic city. he was greet at the bottom of the stairs by an individual on the republican side that's praised him so e fusively and that's chris christie. they got aboard marine one. administrator fugate was with them. they traveled about an hour. long beach island, ship bottom, seaside heights, seaside heights, in particular, as we have seen from our media helicopters hit particularly hard. the president has landed on the way now to a community center that's sheltered as many as 200 at the worst part of the storm at a place outside of atlantic city. there we expect the president to tour the shelter, helping out those in distress and then make a statement, steve. i think we can expect the president to try to project calm, concern, empathy, authority if you will. what we'll not see the president project is any sort of overt political age toll this.
this is all very serious and chris christie by his side as he had all afternoon. >> it's still tore and talk about the tone of the president today, not overtly political. everything is politicized with chris christie who's very emotional in the situation. this is the jersey of his youth be destroyed. >> reporter: right. >> how does the president deal with this to strike the right balance? >> reporter: the president recognizes and seen it reflected in the way to conduct his response over this. i think there's a little bit of -- i don't want to say confusion but on sunday -- i was here on sunday get ogen the helicopter on marine one on the south lawn and headed out to orlando for a previously scheduled campaign event, remember, he canceled two of the three events. begin to orlando. he got there but you had the feeling that, you know, as this thing baring down and the forecast got more and more dire, that they were going to have
to -- you couldn't imagine the president having a rally and going on that rip while this was going on and did come back and ever since then tried to strike that calm tone, that authorityive tone and we don't want to be naked political in an environment like this but the white house and the campaign recognized quickly. suspend anything that looks like politics. assume the commander in chief role and the role of the president there and a needed role. >> mike from the white house, thank you. >> okay. >> the cost of the storm quickly multiplying, upwards of $50 billion despite precautions, 61 people are dead. thousands of homes are lost. 6 million homes and businesses are still without power stretching across 20 states. power crews from as far away as colorado are coming in to help restore the lines. the bulk of the outages in new york and new jersey. in new jersey, 2 million in the
dark, including residents in hoboken across the hudson river from manhattan where 200,000 residents are still stranded in the floodwaters and busted natural gas lines fueled a massive morning fire in new jersey but the main bridge was not stable enough to cross and all emergency vehicles rerouted through toms river and find michele franzen. you have seen your fair share of water rescues there. >> reporter: yeah, absolutely. going in to the second day. let's set the scene for you. we have the staging area of a constant flow of utility vehicles and emergency vehicles across this bridge to the barrier rivers and as well as east side heights trying to rescue people that rode out the storm. to give you an idea of the priorly list, the boat is here and will stay here and but the most dramatic video is coming from the barrier islands.
take a look at the video of the pool camera of nbc affiliate. the damage just overwhelming. houses shifted and moved and destroyed. and the hiss of gas from the line that is are still open there and this is the scene where these emergency workers are trying to reach folks, hundreds yet, that is rode out this storm and many of them still opting to stay at this point. one of them, melissa griffis, grew up in the area and rode out the storm but she'll go back. nbc's michele franzen. >> this is my home. >> yes. >> why? >> because i was born and raised on the beach. >> so we're here back at the scene still to give you an idea and there's still going over that bridge constantly trying to rescue people and bring them back over in bus loads and beyond there you have family members who are waiting to get word about their loved ones and
heard about how social media played a role here and sound bites from people who were over in seaside heights saying in the height of the storm they were protecting each other. a gentleman rescued a woman in a home based on a text from the woman's son and very dramatic stories out of there and certainly a lot of people and some opting to come out and some staying there riding out this saying that they have survived this. they have survived the waves coming in. they can survive anything. >> wow. michele franzen in toms river, thank you. >> there is a glimmer of good news today in new york. first day of trading in four days about to wrap up at the new york stock exchange. of course, running on generators down there. nearly 2 million people without power in new york state. down from the peak and most of the outages are in manhattan, queens and staten island including the homes of the four of us, actually.
floodwaters are still swamping complete neighborhoods. we're seeing jarring footage today of stranded residents being rescued from their own homes and some of the 375,000 new yorkers ordered to evacuate. u.s. navy with three carrier ships to new york harbor right now and rescue chopper haves a place to land and slowly signs of life creeping back in the city. some city buses are running. majority of mass transit is frozen. limited subway service set to resume tomorrow. some commuters took to walking in to the city over bridges. crews trying to pump the stations but it could take days or weeks to get fully back online. same goes for most of the city's tunnels. the arm corps of engineers is working to bring in extra pumps. jfk and newark airport are open. there are some flights coming in. laguardia is closed and 16,000 flights canceled due to sandy.
one of the producers stuck in arizona since before the storm hit and we might have to open a flagstaff bureau for him. straight ahead, who would have thought mitt romney's top surrogate chris christie and president obama would be spending some serious time together just days from the election? we spoke to harry fineman of affecting the race and as next "the cycle" rolls on. this is brooklyn this morning. only today we've begun to see the true scope of the destruction. waiting for the president to speak after touring damage in new jersey. we'll bring it to you live as soon as it happens. this is what the president saw over atlantic city today.
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we are waiting for the president to speak from the hard-hit jersey shore and who would have thought that six days before elections he'd would be the candidate hangs out with chris christie? back on the trail, mitt romney is in florida, so's joe biden and paul ryan in wisconsin. all trying to squeeze out every vote possible in these key battlegrounds but on november 7th will the loser blame sandy for the loss? howard fineman with "the huffington post" media group is here. i have to start with chris christie. who would have imagined that a week out from election day he would be out singing the president's praised in very strong language? we have a clip of that right now. >> the spth all over this and deserves great credit. i appreciate that call from the president. very proactive and i appreciate that type of leadership. the president's been great. i spoke to him three times
yesterday. he called me midnight last night. good working with the president. >> so look, i do think he's sincere here and been very emotionally moved after surveying the damage in new jersey but not only is his praise sort of politically good for the president but politically good for chris christie. >> there's no question that it does. chris christie's job to get all the resources possible from the federal government, from anybody who can help to try to repair his devastated state. so yes, it's good for chris christie. but it's good for the president for a couple of reasons. first of all, any time you talk about the president as leader, as commander, as a guy who's very much in charge of and helping out with the situation, that's human instinct to react favorably to that. the other thing is that if you listen closely to mitt romney's closing arguments, in the last week of the campaign, last ten days of the campaign, mitt romney was talking a lot about the guy who could bring
bipartisanship back to washington. who could work across the aisle. who had done so with democrats in massachusetts. implication being the accusation being that the president didn't know how to do that. had failed in talking to republicans. could never be bipartisan. had no chance of breaking the gridlock in washington. that we see everywhere. the silent testimony and not so silent testimony of chris christie, a republican who after all was the keynote speaker at the republican convention -- >> right. >> -- is really pretty powerful. the president doesn't have to say nothing. none of the adviser haves to say anything. people around the country saw it. >> you know, guys, in terms of why christie's doing this. my story is -- my first job in journalism is covering politics in new jersey and he was a washed up former county official and a lot of people treated him as a has-been and to understand why he's reacting this way right
now, i think the most useful thing for people to know about him is he's an ambitious guy like any governor, like any aspiring national politician. but unlike a lot of other sort of ambitious governors or senators he really truly loves, not likes, love it is job he has right now. governor of new jersey is a job he's had his eye on for probably most of his life since at least high school. new jersey is a quirky and insular place. can feel like a separate country sometimes. i know it from covering it there. there's something about that governorship and his role in the state and the status in the state. you know, this is just an ultimate test of what to him for his whole life is an ultimate life and a genuine response on his part. but howard, i want to ask you about the implications here. this is useful president obama and i'm wondering about potential political ramifications for christie within the republican party if
next wednesday morning republicans wake up and say we lost the election because chris christie gave obama a boost in the last week. is there a risk for him there? >> i'm not sure, steve. and i know what chris christie's reaction would be. i don't think it's sayable on -- even on cable television. >> sure. >> and i agree with you about chris christie. the other part of this, the emotional heart of it as you know having covered new jersey is the jersey shore. this is sort of both an actual and mythical place in the minds of new jerseyians and where he's from and, you know, i don't think so. i think if mitt romney loses there will be plenty of other explanations. i do think, though, that overall looked at in political terms which i hate to inject in this situation but that's what i do, i think this is helpful to the president because in an addition to being the good guy on the phone giving the direct phone number to chris christie and red
cross and fema twice and new jersey, don't forget a real philosophical difference of the president and mitt romney and been exaggerated for the purposes of this election, but let's grant that there's a big philosophical disagreement, there's a communal side of the american psyche, the barn raising side, the governmental side, we're all in this together side and mitt romney stresses the pioneering individual spirit, i can do it alone with the bible and the ax and the woods kind of thing so this naturally plays to the president's idea of what america is at its best and trying to show why that's a valid and worthy tradition and it plays right in to his electoral themes. >> howard, you know, we don't want to politicize sandy but plenty of people have. >> yes. >> they've been discussing the political implications that the
storm will have and hoping that it has an impact on the conversations about everything from climate change to global warming to fema and disaster relief. >> right. >> do you think, though, with a few days remaining, unemployment and the economy continue to be the factors that voters go in on tuesday with top of mind and not some of these other things? >> no. i agree with you. it only relates back, s.e. in terms of your argument how to improve the economy, how to create jobs. the president stresses a bigger role for government than mitt romney does and that's the argument. that's the only point about the spherics of communal effort. no, but it's definitely about jobs and the economy. are you kidding me? the voracity of where jeeps are made in ohio or in china tells you everything you need to know about what this election is all about. this election comes down to the question of whether all the jeeps are going to be made in toledo or whether some of are
also going to be made in china. that's the election in a nutshell. the jeep, not the storm, but the jeep is really the symbol of this election. >> howard, if you can be a fly on the wall in boston and chicago at the same time -- >> i've tried. >> -- where do you think they would feel more benefit from the race being frozen, knocked off the a-block and the headline? the president getting to perform the job, be the commander in chief and romney reduced to figure out what to do here and make the campaign events and relief events, when's feeling more benefit from the way the race has turned in the last week? >> i think actually neither headquarters is under the allusion that sandy is a huge factor. i think they're trying to ignore it in the sense that the ground game is what matters here right now. the get out the vote efforts and the dirty little secret of visits by presidents and
presidential candidates to states in the last week or ten days is that they're largely a distraction to the main job of making sure you get out the vote on election day and in places where there's early voting to do that. that's what if i were a fly on the wall what i would hear is what's happening in minnesota, when's happening in ohio, what's happening in iowa? who's contacting whom? do we have the right number of people? are we on in the right places? i think that's what they're focusing own and will take care of itself one way or the other. i do think that on balance if there's a benefit, it's a benefit to the president because if mitt romney was trying to make his closing argument, his closing surge-like argument where there is no real surge, he would have needed the eyes and the attention of the media on him at the top of all of the news shows and he's not getting this. >> we have seen the value of big government versus small government here, right? >> well, i think so. i think the fact is that an
event like sandy so much bigger than any one state or even any group of states to deal with, it's a silent testimony to the need and the value of a federal government because only the federal government has the kind of wherewithal to deal with it. look what happens in new york city. the corps of engineers has the to try to pump out the subways and the basements. you don't hear about the corps of engineers. the u.s. army corps of engineers running around the streets of manhattan. somebody has to pay for the corps of engineers. we need the corps of engineers all over the country and that's something that the government has done from the beginning of the constitution -- you know, from the time we ratified the constitution. >> i'd say it demonstrate it is need for an effective federal government, not necessarily a big one. >> i don't disagree with you, s.e. take care. >> that's krystal. >> that's something i would say!
>> we have been waiting for the right time to unveil this segment. what is it? find out straight ahead. we continue to wait for president obama and chris christie to speak after touring the disaster near new jersey. this is the way the boardwalk and amusement park looks now, nearly all washed away. [ lisa ] my name's lisa, and chantix helped me quit. i honestly loved smoking, and i honestly didn't think i would ever quit. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. it put me at ease that you could smoke on the first week. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it.
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map. there are six days left and we are putting down on paper what we think the electoral map is ultimately going to look like when the ballots are counted. of course, a lot can change in the final sprint to the white house and we reserve our right to change our minds. we tell you about moves we make between now and november 6th and so here's my map. and the bottom line on this is is i have obama winning 294 to 244. i guess the key there is i say obama is going to take virginia. this is a state romney really needs to win. i've given romney north carolina and florida, swing states and ohio, romney colorado. give obama ohio and new hampshire. i think the point i want to make about this map is a broader one and it's a criticism and an expression of bafflement about the romney campaign strategy. if you look at that map, to win to get to 270, they have to win virginia, florida, north
carolina. got to win colorado. putting that together, pick off ohio or some combination of wisconsin and plus new hampshire, iowa, nevada. a combination there and the polls out of ohio and wisconsin, not looking good for romney. to me the issue is this. there are states on the map that could have been competitive. oregon, michigan, minnesota, pennsylvania and even maybe where obama had big margins in 2008 like 15, 16-point margins but you have to go back to 2004 to see, you know, a three-point race in minnesota. a three-point race in michigan. these are states, there's a lot of flexibility in these states. if romney with all the money he had and republicans had, outside money, if they had targeted the states early with advertising and then with field work, too, i think it would be a position now where minnesota could be in play or oregon. we see polls with the races in mid single digits in the states and minnesota right now and finally talking about it a
little bit. romney doesn't have a single field office there. they didn't make the effort and stuck trying to win ohio. i don't think they can. >> just to be clear, giving alaska to romney? >> that's in -- leaning. >> bold. >> to your point, we did the maps separately and didn't know what we were going to do until we decided but the play's only about eight or nine states. right? obviously the others we agree on -- >> none of us have the same maps. >> that's right. >> steve and i are very, very close. steve has virginia going blue and not so confident and putting colorado blue today but i might change tomorrow. that's razor close and not the difference for obama. i'm giving you see ohio blue, new hampshire blue, iowa and nevada and wisconsin but the thing that stands out for me in this is look at the south. all red and it reminds me of what andrew sullivan pointed out
this weekend is the confederacy. 1864, the map, the states that were in the confederacy all brown on this map. that's all one block from virginia to texas to florida and that to me speaks to a sort of ugly divide that we have going on in america right now and, you know, there we are. if we could exhume lincoln and mcclellan and look at the map, they would be like, wow, i recognize that map. >> they were democrats. >> absolutely. >> but you know now a long unpacking of changing the meaning and the south entirely agreed and the north disagreed and now at the same position. >> so my south is not all red. i am quite bullish on the president's chances. i give him the states toure did as well as virginia and florida and florida i actually just moved in to this column today on the strength of three different
factors. two of them having to do with the latino vote. the demographics have shifted in favor of democrats even since 2008. our friend nate cohn pointed out 69% to 65.5% over 4 years, 150,000 more african-americans registered and 300,000 more registered hispanics. plurality of which are registered as democrats and demographics moved and also latinos are energized about the election. 87% nationwide of registered latinos say they'll cast a ballot. 45% said they're more excited than they were in 2008. the numbers up and increasing week by week and very encouraging for the president in florida but, you know, the last factor that actually caused me to move the state in to the blue column is sandy and that's why i moved it just today because i think florida's a state where people really understand the
importance of fema, the importance of an effective and strong national response to disasters and i think the president's leadership here as close as the race is in florida could be enough to move it in his favor. >> well, not surprisingly, my race is closer although i still give it to obama. i don't see romney pulling through. >> you will be in trouble. >> i have it close, 268 to 272 and because i'm giving -- >> what was that red in the middle there at the top? wisconsin? wow. >> wait. so i'm giving romney virginia, florida, iowa, new hampshire, north carolina. i'm also giving him wisconsin. i think wisconsin is very much in play. i've seen the recent poll numbers, steve. they don't look at sanguine for romney as i think they are and i think wisconsin's in play. i think obama's going to get nevada, colorado and ohio. so again, i don't see romney
pulling it out. of course, if any one of those states go in his favor, he wins it by a small margin but, guys, what happens to the winner in the election prediction map? what do i win when i'm the closest? >> a small trophy that we'll -- the producers will make. >> okay. >> and give it to the winner, me, on the air. >> okay. >> and then everybody will know for four years you are the el t elector electoral -- >> made out of bacon? >> should be. it should be. >> the real question is, what sort of shame should the losers have to endure? >> yes, yes. >> the losers or losers. three losers. >> the person that's the biggest loser. >> furthest away. >> you or me. i'm the tightest. you have the widest margin. >> you're the outliers. >> she'll win a romney t-shirt for a week. >> oh! >> the contrast. >> the loser. thank you for that. >> a red sox shirt. how about that?
>> too much. >> either way, this is going to work out. >> what would you be wearing? >> enemy of the kansas state wildcats? this weekend's oklahoma state. i have to win an oklahoma state shirt if that happens. coming up, the election crunch time. nate is back crunching the latest numbers for us. president obama and chris christie are still to speak after touring sandy's damage. two days in hoboken, that's the birthplace of baseball and frank sinatra. still underwater. check out the image from there. a cup of joe is a sedan.
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in a colull posted today on election blog and you write romney's win for a comeback is closing. i don't want to fixiate on that. what you reach that conclusion through numbers and of the last day there's been a culture clash among the sort of chattering class, online and on tv a little bit where what we might call the english majors bat wlg the math majors. the philosophers against the nerds, right? some people saying that people like yourself don't take passion and intangibles and momentum and vibe in to account. you're dealing with numbers. how do you defend that position in this big argument that's going on? >> i think that the big picture is that most observers recognize that the race is really close. i understand why in a close race people say it's a 50-50 split. who knows what can happen? the reality of history of polls is most of the time with a candidate with a lead as clear
as obama has in ohio or wisconsin or invest 23nevada, t candidate wins and this is a reality. often thinking that the polls are close they often still end up going the way they're leaning. remember in wisconsin earlier, democrats thought this is going to be a close race. the polls said walker would win by 7. he did. and with that history in mind, you know, i'm inclined to think that obama's the favorite. that doesn't mean romney can't win but speaks to probability i think. >> don't let toure say you don't have passion. i can feel your passion. i can feel it through the camera. is minnesota in play? i've been hearing silly rumors it could be in play this year for romney. that doesn't sound right. >> i have always thought that minnesota should be in play. it's an overwhelmingly white state. we know that obama's struggling with white voters. a state obama won by ten points last time and keep in mind that means it's closer than wisconsin, pennsylvania, closer
than a whole bunch and closer than nevada, states recognized as battlegrounds and a democratic history and makes it difficult for romney and not hard to see why the combination of results of a last few elections and the state's demographics could put it in play. other hand, polls show obama ahead and 50%. the campaigns have an investment there and they don't take the evidence of a strong race and inclined to think although minnesota is closer than people think it's probably not going romney's way. >> nate, let's talk about ohio. the sort of premier swing state. you have made the point of a state filled with white working class voters and elsewhere turned on obama in four years and if they had in ohio like they have elsewhere this would be a pretty easy romney feat and obama's ahead by a few points and been a consistent leap. i want to run a number that jumped out at me from the
cbs/"the new york times" poll. in this poll, they asked ohio, florida and virginia voters do you think things in your state, the economic conditions in your state are getting better, worse or staying the same? you look at florida, 37-25 better. virginia 39-19 better. ohio, you have the unemployment rate lower than the national average. 52% better, 17% worse. pretty big difference there. is this just a case where the economic conditions in a particular state are kind of overriding national factors? >> i think that's possible. certainly the case of the state economy stronger than elsewhere and the auto bailout is a tangible example to look at the president saying that's something that made the economic conditions where i live better and not true elsewhere in the country but i will note that broadly speaking romney's performing worse in states where the economy is doing well and like in iowa and the unemployment rate is lower than
it is in ohio so i think it's not just as simple of whether the economy is doing well and other factors at play. >> nate, let's talk about early voting a little bit. out of the obama campaign since the first baebt when the polls tightened is ground game and the early voting numbers are very strong and now republicans are pushing back saying, yeah, well they're quote/unquote cannibalizing democrats always going to puvote and pushing the earlier. does the president have an advantage in early voting? >> it's hard to discern whether early voters are people going to vote anyway. the republicans are right. if you move election day voters to two weeks it doesn't make a difference but the democrats are performing well in early voting and some states like nevada and north carolina and florida i think you can make the case that they're performing pretty close to '08 and not an especially close election and other states like ohio and iowa i think the
numbers are more complicated but, you know, what do you do when you don't know who the people who are voting early are, if they're people to vote anyway? it doesn't matter. but if they weren't people that were going to vote then they banked marginal votes. i don't think we'll know until election day. >> perfect. i'll continue to believe what i want to believe. >> nate, one come paampaign pros to have you back after the election. thanks for everything. >> thank you for having me. all right. everything about the race dissected. we have a doctor who'll dissect their brain. figuratively, figuratively. these are photos just in to us of the storm damage as seen from the air of the president's tour of the destruction in new jersey. waiting for the president's remarks and bring them to you as soon as they happen. d on the simple belief that bringing you better technology helps make you a better investor. with our revolutionary e-trade 360 dashboard you see exactly where your money is
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it seems everything in this presidential campaign season has been poked and prodded. how about the candidates' brains? yeah, we're going there. does that sound scary enough for halloween? our next guest uses science to determine who has the more presidential brain, everything from testosterone to estrogen. the author of the "newsweek" article, "who's got a more presidential brain?" i've got to say, dr. fisher, linking hormones and politics
sounds suspiciously like a cnn story that we absolutely eviscerated on this show. >> really? >> really? >> really? >> really? >> but i want to give you did benefit of the doubt. tell me about political genetics and what the thrust of your thesis is. >> i'm not familiar with the article -- >> good! good for you. >> it's a good read. it's a good read. >> at all. >> well anyway, you know, i do study the brain and there's a lot of chemicals in the brain and four chemical systems and each one linked with a whole host of personality traits. the dope mean, seretonin and with match.com i created a questionnaire to express the traits in each one of the four systems and taken by over 12 million people on chemistry.com and match went come and i know the chemistry of some
personality traits and i wanted to see about obama and romney and i mean they have a lot of personality traits. we all have a personality. no two people are alike and there are personality styles and there are four styles of behaving and i began to them. i've read a lot of the books that they've written and books written about them and everything that's in the newspapers and they really stand out as biologically very different kind of brains. >> so who has the better brain? >> they're very different brains, the question of which one you want. they're very expressive some testosterone, actually, romney expresses more. the traits include being analytical, logical, strategic, competitive, data-driven, they are both that. but romney has some of the other traits. he's very rank-oriented. if you read his book, "no apology," he wants america to be number one. he doesn't see a balance of power. he expresses less empathy, less
empathy is linked with more testosterone, there's a lot of articles about that. so he seems the to express more of the testosterone in his system. as a matter of fact, his face is really quite high testosterone, the angular jaw, the heavy brow ridges, the high cheekbones are testosterone. so he's more testosterone. obama seems to be more expressive of the estrogen system, as well as testosterone. you know, there's a lot of football players, actually, who express a lot of estrogen as well as testosterone. and obama expresses a lot more of the estrogen. he's emotionally expressive, he sees the big picture, he's very contextual, holistic minded, got very good people skills, very good verbal skills, he's quite imaginative, these are all traits that are linked with the estrogen system. >> okay. >> you know, helen, i often think we spend too much time thinking about individual traits and the individual style of presidents when we're trying to understand them, when so much of what they do is just a function of their party label. they're there to advocate for their party's agenda. i wonder if you can apply some of this thinking, some of these
traits and characteristics to the two parties today? do you see one that's more, you know, that's more analytical or one that's more emotional or whatever? does it apply to parties and not just people? >> on chemistry.com, i studied 175,000 people and i asked them a whole lot of things about themselves, but also, of course, what their politics were. there are a lot of studies, actually, of the basic traits of the conservative and the liberal, and what i found is that conservatives really express much more of a third system, the serotonin system. linked with serotonin in the brain is being very conventional, being more cautious, being methodical, orderly. i mean, look at romney's hair, he is orderly. they follow the rules. they respect authority. and you see all of those more in the republican sort of zeitgeist. i mean, their basic concept. the people who tend to be
democrats score higher in the dopamine and the estrogen systems. they see the big picture. but they're also more risk taking. i mean, obama, you know, all but one of his advisers did not want him to drop in on bin laden from the sky, and he did it. so basically, there are four broad styles of thinking and behaving and really a good president should have all four. >> well, you didn't have to tell me that i was higher in testosterone. dr. helen fisher, thank you. up next, steve kornacki gives us a piece of his mind on good reasons and bad reasons to vote for mitt romney. we continue to wait for the president's remarks after touring the destruction in new jersey. this is what is left of long beach island on the shore # that focused less on fees and more... on what matters? maybe your bank account is taking too much time and maybe it's costing too much money. introducing bluebird by american express and walmart. your alternative to checking and debit. it's loaded with features, not fees. because we think your money should stay where it belongs.
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. there are good reasons for doing things and there are bad reasons for doing things. for example, a good reason to hit the town for a night of drinking might be because it's a weekend and you feel like loosening up is and letting off some steam after a long week at work. a bad reason to hit the town for a night of drinking might be because it's the middle of the week and you want to get yourself ready for a big presentation at the office the next day. you can apply this to the presidential election too, at least, i think. a good reason to vote for mitt romney would be, because you agree with his party's philosophy, and you like the agenda that republicans have been pushing in the obama era. a bad reason to vote for mitt romney would be, because you think the republican party has become too extreme and needs to move to the middle. i think this should be self-evident, but apparently, it's not. in the past few weeks, i have heard a number of people who are in the middle of the road politically say they have started to support romney, not because they like today's
republican party, but because they think he's different from it. one that's on my mind this week is "the des moines register's" endorsement of romney. it made national news. iowa's a key state and "the register" doesn't usually back republicans. the paper's rationale, because he worked with democrat when he was governor of massachusetts, and therefore, will do the same if he's elected president. i think that's the wrong way to think about a romney presidency, though. because if you want to know how he'd govern, all you really need to know is which party he represents today. and that would be the republican party. and what are the priorities of just about all of the leaders, activists, interest groups, and elect officialed that make up today's republican party? tax breaks for the superwealthy, rolling back environmental regulation, enactment of the paul ryan budget, a steep reduction in federal aid to the poor, transformation of medicare into a quasi-voucher program, packing the federal courts with deeply conservative judges, and creating a supreme court majority to overturn roe versus wade. those are the highlights. and how do we know that romney would pursue this agenda? it's actually pretty simple.
the republican party will revolt if he doesn't. i know, i know. we don't actually know what romney's core beliefs are or if he has any at all. he's been all over the map. it's possible he's secretly the moderate he sold himself as in massachusetts, and it's possible he's really the severe conservative he assured republicans he was earlier this year. but this doesn't really matter at all. because romney has been very consistent throughout his political career in one important way. his positions and his actions have always, always been driven by political expediency. i defy you to point to one major issue at any time in the last 18 years, where romney took a position that was at odds with whatever constituency he was trying to appeal to at that moment. i have racked my brain on this. i really have. and i can think of none. this gives us a really good idea as how he'd govern as president. the right views him with enormous suspicion right now. he got the nomination only by signing off on their entire agenda. if we've learned anything in the tea party